Harsh Watering Restrictions, Another Reason to Buy Coastal?

With the drought in California becoming more and more desperate, watering regulations have become a huge issue. Many large estates are being restricted in a way never before as they attempt to keep up their lawns. Is this just another reason the ocean should be your backyard? Contact Coastal Estates to find your beach home today.

Water-guzzling lawns have taken significant flack in California’s four-year drought, and officials delivered another hit Friday by sharply limiting how much water newly constructed landscapes can use.

The limits came from the state’s Building Standard’s Commission in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order that urban water users cut back 25 percent during California’s four-year drought.

Builders and developers can meet the new rules by planting shrubs and bushes instead of grass, or by installing slow-trickling valves instead of traditional sprinklers.

“You can still see grass, you are just going to see a lot less of it,” said Bob Raymer of the California Building Industry Association, which supported the changes.

The rules don’t impact existing landscapes, or those that use recycled or reclaimed water. The new standards will take effect Monday for proposed office buildings, schools and hospitals, and on June 15 for housing developments.

Orange County has 89,000 new houses, apartments and condos in the development pipeline, according to MarketPointe Realty Advisors of San Diego. How those tens of thousands of properties will be impacted is not yet clear.

The rules don’t spell out how lawns should be watered or the exact types of grass and shrubs that can be planted, said Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for the state’s Department of General Services. Rather, developers must figure out how to meet certain efficiency limits.

Local government officials will enforce the design rules, though Orange County already has a standard for larger landscaping areas, said Dan Ferons, the general manager at Santa Margarita Water District in south Orange County.

“It may be tightening down,” Ferons said.

The new rules are based on a performance metric: landscapes must fall below a certain per-square-foot water use level. That metric is different than Brown’s original proposal, which was to restrict the kind of irrigation technology builders can install on new construction.

Regardless, the rules will compel people to seek out more efficient irrigation technology, said Tracy Quinn, a policy analyst for the water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

“It also incentivizes you to use a lot more efficient plants, so you’re more likely to plant drought-tolerant plants,” she said.

The rules only affect landscapes larger than 2,500 square feet, Quinn said. A typical lot on a new Orange County home is at least that size, including the house. But not all of a lot is landscaped.

“A lot of the new landscaping, it’s going to fall below that square footage. So a lot of new homes are not going to fall under that regulation,” Quinn said.

The 2,500 square foot threshold is applied inconsistently, Quinn added. Some parts of the state count entire 100-house developments as one landscape, while others count each house individually. “We really need clarification on that,” Quinn said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact the writer:aorlowski@ocregister.com. Twitter: @aaronorlowski

Source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/new-663625-rules-water.html

Homes Becoming More Affordable

In the varied market that we currently reside in, keeping an eye on trends is crucial and sometimes the difference between profit and loss on the sale of a home. Investing in real estate is always a smart idea and this article shows that right now might just be a really great time to buy as homes are becoming more affordable.

Is the “affordability” of an Orange County home really well below average when a hiring spree slashed local unemployment to a seven-year low?

One big problem with the many so-called housing “affordability” indexes created by real estate insiders is that they don’t fully account for shifting strength or weakness in the broader economy. That’s especially noteworthy when Orange County is enjoying its best job market since the turn of the century.

The common affordability index takes current home price data and uses it to calculate a typical house payment based on recent mortgages rates, then compares that result to salary levels. But nowhere is the supply of that salary – the number of people employed – incorporated in the math.

So when an index reports that some hypothetical percentage of the population can afford a home, the only job market information being applied is income data – a rather static metric that isn’t a good measure of consumer confidence.

That means these indexes tend to show high “affordability” when rates and prices are low – and that often happens when the economy is soft, jobs are scarce and real estate fundamentals are poor.

Take this example: The California Association of Realtors’ (CAR) affordability index for Orange County was high during the real estate slump of the early 1990s, peaking in the first quarter of 1994 when it showed that 48 percent of Orange County households were comfortably able to purchase a home. And it rose sharply again during the Great Recession, hitting a cyclical peak of 35 percent affordability in the second quarter of 2009.

No MBA is needed to know that folks weren’t in a house-hunting mood in either of these eras – despite what an affordability index might show as favorable shopping conditions.

To my eyes, too much real estate analysis understates the job market’s huge impact on housebuying activities and property values. In an attempt to fix this statistical quirk, I fired up my trusty spreadsheet and filled it with CAR affordability data for Orange County, dating to 1991, and corresponding local jobless data.

Using relative differences in unemployment rates, I adjusted the CAR affordability rate for job market strength or weakness. Let’s dub my results Orange County’s house shopping “feasibility” index – that is, how many folks could be thinking about a home purchase based on job trends plus home prices, income levels and mortgage rate patterns.

The baseline of my feasibility index is the first quarter of 2010, when local unemployment hit its quarter-century peak of 10 percent. My formula left that quarter’s CAR affordability rate unadjusted at 28 percent.

Conversely, for 1999’s fourth quarter – with Orange County’s lowest jobless rate in a quarter-century, at 2.5 percent – my formula adjusted the CAR affordability rate of 32 percent up to an 83 percent feasibility rate. That’s the highest of any quarter since 1991.

What my spreadsheet is clearly telling me is that the late 1990s were a darn good time to be a homebuyer. Orange County’s booming business climate had yet to overheat the housing market – giving the ample number of employed people a solid shot at relatively reasonable homeprices.

Think about it. At the end of the last century, unemployment rates ran below 3 percent for much of 1998 and 1999. The resulting surge in housing pushed up the median single-family home price by 22 percent in those two years – only a fraction of their rise over the next five. Rates were sort of favorable: From 1994 through 1999, the average 30-year fixed home loan rate fell from 9.1 percent to 7.8 percent.

In 1999’s fourth quarter, Orange County house hunters bought 13,000 homes – roughly two-thirds more than the sales pace of the 1994 affordability peak, and twice as many were purchased during theaffordability high point of the Great Recession.

Plus, those buyers of the late 1990s were handsomely rewarded: median selling prices rose by 115 percent in the next five years.


Today, CAR’s affordability index tells you that only 22 percent of Orange County households could afford the median-priced house – a result well below the 28 percent average since 1991.

But when you look at the current market through my feasibility lens, you see that 64 percent of Orange County could have been thinking about buying in the first quarter of 2015 – a seven-year high, though just a touch above average.

Yes, today’s home prices are nearing the old pre-recession peak, and by many metrics, local housing is costly to typical families. That may scare off numerous house shoppers. But mortgages remain cheap and unemployment started the year averaging 4.7 percent – the best since the first quarter of 2008. (Local unemployment fell to 4.1 percent in April.)

So the numerous folks with new jobs – or those with solid prospects to keep their current ones – have a better financial outlook. Accordingly, homes were bought in the first quarter at the second-fastest start-of-the-year rate since 2007.

My feasibility index is by no means perfect, but it does remind you that if people are secure in their jobs, they won’t mind paying for real estate.

On the flip side, if they’re out of work, buying isn’t an option no matter how low rates are or how much property owners are discounting prices.

Sadly, most “affordability” measures simply don’t capture that house shopping reality.

Contact the writer: 949-777-6727 or jlansner@ocregister.com

Source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/percent-663619-affordability-quarter.html

Determine Your Beach Personality!

If you’re thinking about moving to the beach but you aren’t sure which beach, then you need to determine your beach personality. All of the amazing coastal cities have such diversity that even though they all share the “beach vibe”, there are radically different schools of thought and environments that you can find yourself in. 

If you’re thinking about moving to the beach but you aren’t sure which beach, then you need to determine your beach personality. All of the amazing coastal cities have such diversity that even though they all share the “beach vibe”, there are radically different schools of thought and environments that you can find yourself in. Read up on some of our favorite coastal cities and see which would be a great fit for you. Quiz attached in link. 

So you want to live on the coast. But which one? Before you make up your mind, it might help to determine your “beach personality.”

Although a simple definition of coastline is the juncture of land and water, those two elements come together in different ways for different people. Some coastal communities beckon folks whose idea of something to do is doing nothing in particular?we’ve labeled that group Beach Bums. Our Water Bugs are active types, happiest when in the water, or under it. Nature Lovers always have their binoculars handy, and love nothing more than communing with the wilderness on a pristine headland or crescent of sand. The Boat Crew has to get out on the sea, by motor, sail, or paddle. Cultured Pearls gravitate to places nurtured by sophisticates?who are nurtured, in turn, by the water’s proximity. Fishing Buddies envision prowling the surface of a great trove of dinners and trophies, while our Golf Club sees the vast blue expanse as a backdrop that harks back to the Scottish coasts where the game grew up.

First, decide what sort of creature you are. Then look for a habitat among the ones we’ve selected. Our guide might inspire you to create a list of your own or to do a little additional research. We hope you discover a waterside spot that has every attribute you’re looking for.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1ASmJym

What Does the Doctor Prescribe? Go Surfing!

Natural remedies for rehabilitating illness have become more and more common as a cure is not yet on the horizon. For people living with conditions like cystic fibrosis and even less severe diagnoses, the ocean has many medicinal qualities that can prove useful to treating these diseases. Not only have studies shown that people who live closer to the ocean are happier but surfing is a great activity for body and mind. 

A new treatment is providing hope for some patients who suffer from a debilitating illness, not through drugs or surgery but a trip to the beach.

Though he hits the beach every opportunity he gets, Caleb Remington is not your average surfer dude. For him, surfing isn’t a sport or a hobby.  

“I now surf to live,” says Remington.

The ocean helps him with breathing, something we all take for granted. Remington has cystic fibrosis. Nearly 30,000 Americans suffer from the disease, which causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and the digestive track making it difficult to breathe and break down food, reports CBS News “Early Show” correspondent Hattie Kauffman

Cystic fibrosis patients undergo a rigorous routine including breathing treatments and twice-a-day therapy in a vest that fills with air to help break up mucus in the chest.

There is no cure for the disease but the ocean is a natural treatment. Research has shown that the salty mist from the water can help break up thick mucus in the lungs and makes breathing easier.

Read more at: http://cbsn.ws/1cJNWOg

BEST OF OC: 50 Must-Sees, Must-Eats & Must-Dos in Orange County

Here it is! The BEST of OC – a list of recommendations from OC residents

couple having fun on vacation at the lake


Beach side cliffs and tide pools of Laguna Beach are where my wife and I shot our engagement photos. I just think it’s cool to see natural artwork via wind and water erosion. Couple that with the sandy beach and waves and you’ve got the perfect backdrop for photos. You’ll often find people taking engagement/wedding/family photos there. Juan Flores, Communications Manager, with the Bureau 3 years

Million dollar views. Pacific Edge for breathtaking, on the water romantic stays or vacation memories with your children, this is a hidden gem! My family has stayed there for years and it has become one of our family favorite trips! Julie Freund, Account Sales Manager, Partnership, with the Bureau 19 years

See the Disneyland Fireworks for free. Right in front of the Disneyland entrance, in the main promenade, is one of my favorite places to view the fireworks without entering the park. I like to pack light a dinner in my cooler, lay down a blanket, and plant myself in the middle of the promenade to view the show! Tessa Kranz, Tourism E-marketing Coordinator, with the Bureau under a year

Life’s a beach. Crystal Cove State Beach is my favorite – no T-shirt shops or anything: just beach and beach and beach! If you’re lucky you’ll see dolphins. Harriet Porter, Sales Director, Convention Sales, with the Bureau 4 years

Old time OC. My small town roots bring to Old Towne Orange often where I like to visit the antique shops and Watsons Drug Store. I’m a sucker for small town friendliness and this community has that and more.  I love the college town atmosphere mixed with the eclectic feeling of pubs and coffee houses. It is fun to stroll and shop along the streets near the circle where you can usually find a unique gift for yourself or someone else. Tony Toth, Convention Sales Director, with the Bureau 18 years

The simple things. San Clemente Pier is a romantic spot to watch the sunset…spectacular!  Must do: enjoy their restaurant’s New England Clam Chowder at the same time. Christina Dawson, VP Partnership Development, with the Bureau 10 years

Once in a lifetime. One of the most amazing experiences in Southern California is to see thousands of dolphins in the wild, just doing what they do. I had one of the most memorable experiences of my life onboard Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale-Watching boats last November!  I saw over 1500 Common dolphins swimming in a pod.  They were jumping out of the water and porpoising in the path of the boat!  I have never seen so many dolphins in my life!  It was AMAZING!!!!! Luanne Miracle, Manager, Tourism Development, with the Bureau 3 years

Christmas cheer. The candle-lighting ceremony at Disneyland Park is a once in a lifetime spectacle. The park is aglow with the holiday trimmings and over a thousand voices sing in unity to all the holiday favorites while the story of Christmas is told. My favorite was Jane Seymour! Daniel Carr, Convention Housing Manager, with the Bureau 6 years

Snowy backdrop. The best view of snow on the mountains after a good storm is at the intersection of State College & Bastanchury in Fullerton near Summit House Restaurant. It actually takes your breath away as you see the mountains; they look so close and so beautiful framed against a bright blue sky!  It’s especially fun if you have just come from a fun day at the BEACH and can see snow-capped mountains on your way home! Brenda Weber, Convention Services Manager, with the Bureau 2 years

Very crafty. Art Supply Warehouse is like a giant candy store for artists. They literally have everything. From pens, to paints, to hundreds of sketchbooks and any supply that any artist would want. I can’t walk into this place without buying something. All art stores should be this epic… Mark Lukas, Graphic Designer, with the Bureau 2 years

Dog days. I love going to the Huntington Beach Dog Beach on the weekends. It warms my heart as I watch all the varieties, colors, sizes and personalities of the dogs playing with each other in the sand and the water.  What is amazing on how well they all get along!  Cats could never do that… this is part of nature at the beach! Carolyn Pesenti Green, Convention Services Director, with the Bureau 19 years

Take a hike. Carbon Canyon Regional Park I like this park because there is a ten-acre grove of Coastal Redwoods tucked away in the back of the park.  You have to hike (moderate difficulty) to get to them and it is totally worth the effort. Bobby Taylor, Web & Emerging Media Manager, with the Bureau 2 years

Steal a kiss. La Casa Del Camino’s Rooftop Bar at sunset is the most romantic spot I can think of! Gina McQuade, Convention & Meeting Sales Director, with the Bureau 8 years

Fore! Look to the left from the tee box at the13th Hole South Course at Pelican Hill Golf Club to the majestic Pacific Ocean. Pods of Dolphins, whales, pelicans, and other sea creatures can be spotted, all the while trying to make that elusive birdie or hole on one!  To the right is Pelican Point and some of the most expensive homes in Newport Beach- Kobe Bryant lives there! Daniel Carr, Convention Housing Manager, with the Bureau 6 years

A walk to remember. I love walking down the meandering pathways in Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, past the dramatic cliffs and crashing waves of the Pacific. The most spectacular view here is from the gazebo in the park –it is a view that never disappoints. Elaine Cali, VP Communications, with the Bureau 26 years


Burger fever. The best burger in OC is from Haven Gastropub out in Old Towne Orange. Homemade aioli and ketchup with arugula leaves instead of lettuce and good quality beef. Dann Mannahan, Web Producer, with the Bureau 4 years

Mi casa es su casa. Best whole in the wall Mexican food is Mexicasa on Lincoln in Anaheim.  It’s family owned for a million years and still is.  Best damn salsa anywhere.  The absolute best part is the price!!!  Family of four can eat for $25.00!!!  They also make a “wine” margarita to die for!!  No tequila just wine.  Good stuff! Kelly Grass, Partnership Services Manager, with the Bureau 11 years

Fish out of water. Kaisen Kaiten Sushi in Costa Mesa is one of the best revolving sushi bars I’ve been to that never fails to disappoint in quality sushi. They have daily specials on hand rolls listed in their window and always have their flat screen TV on ESPN for the latest Lakers game. Jamie Nguyen, Tourism Assistant, with the Bureau 2 years

Mama mia! I have been going to Luigi’s D’ Italia since I was a kid and the food has remained some of the best food in the county for homemade authentic Italian! Our favorite is the Tortellini D Angelo! Julie Freund, Account Sales Manager, Partnership, with the Bureau 19 years

A winning spot. The Catch not only has fine, award-winning brews from sister restaurant Taps, but the atmosphere before (and after) an Angels or Ducks game (and sometimes both), can’t be beat. They have great steaks, an awesome clam chowder soup and have you seen the OMG burger? Juan Flores, Communications Manager, with the Bureau 3 years

Sugar shot. Season’s 52 at South Coast Plaza has the most delicious wide-variety of SHOT GLASS desserts.  Pretty, unique and very tasty.  Not too much, not too little… JUST RIGHT following their healthy entree options too! Christina Dawson, VP Partnership Development, with the Bureau 10 years

Veg out. I like Rutabegorz restaurants (Fullerton and Orange) not only for the uniquely homey and historic atmosphere, but for the delicious and healthy food, some vegetarian, some low fat, all DELICIOUS !  What a unique and authentic SoCal experience! Luanne Miracle, Manager, Tourism Development, with the Bureau 3 years

Worldly delights. My favorite place to eat ia K’ya in Hotel Menage. The food is really delicious; there is a wide variety of food on their menu from places like New Orleans, New York, Japan, Italy and more. The atmosphere is very calming and sets me in a good mood. The main reason I love K’ya is because nothing is over $10! Tessa Kranz, Tourism E-marketing Coordinator, with the Bureau under a year

Ice, ice baby. Joe’s Italian Ice is by far our FAVORITE place to get an icy, cool treat!  They have the best Italian ice!  The staff is always cheerful and ready to take your order.  You can also ask for samples of each of the different flavors! Michelle Amon, Receptionist, with the Bureau 5 years

Fit to be Thai’d. The best hole in the wall restaurant is Thai Gulf out in Huntington Beach. It has the cheapest, most authentic and most filling Thai food in OC. They treat you like family, giving you unlimited Thai Iced teas, egg rolls, wontons and dessert, which includes a deep fried egg roll wrapped bananas & green tea ice cream- all for under 6 bucks! Dann Mannahan, Web Producer, with the Bureau 4 years

Est. in 1899! Watsons Drug Store is the best local joint! Great food and a wonderful old fashion ambience!!  Great wait staff… I think some have been there for decades! Jim Kissinger, VP Convention Sales, with the Bureau 26 years

Gem in Crystal Cove. Eat at The Beachcomber around 5pm to see the flag raise and have a cocktail and a nice dinner on the sand.Gina McQuade, Convention & Meeting Sales Director, with the Bureau 8 years

The Blue Frog Bakery in Old Towne Orange has the best apple turnover- flaky crust, perfect blend of cinnamon & nutmeg, gives you good energy to do lots of antique shopping in Old Towne Orange! Brenda Weber, Convention Services Manager, with the Bureau 2 years

Midday treat. I love the frozen lemonade at Frontier Land in Disneyland. I’m not a fan of lemonade, but I can’t pass up the frozen lemonade stand in Frontierland. There is just something special about it and a trip to the park would not be the same without one! Lora Stanley, Convention Sales, with the Bureau 15 years


Get jazzed. Steamer’s in Fullerton has the best jazz– what can I say…? Great music– world class jazz artists! Jim Kissinger, VP Convention Sales, with the Bureau 26 years

Holy moly. A must-try hiking trail is Holy Jim: off-roading in my Jeep ‘til you can’t drive anymore and walk the rest to the falls! Harriet Porter, Sales Director, Convention Sales, with the Bureau 4 years

Explore Downtown. I absolutely love going to Downtown Santa Ana. It is called “Art Walk” and there are many galleries, bars, and specialty shops. My favorite place to go to is the Gypsy Den. It has a super relaxed hipster vibe, excellent food and beer, and they have open mic events weekly; where you can see a wide variety of musicians like cellists and accordion players. Tessa Kranz, Tourism E-marketing Coordinator, with the Bureau under a year

Picture this. One of the best backdrops for photography is Old Town Tustin can be used for weddings, commercialized photos or just to take pictures. The quaint town has a lot of greenery and vintage appeals. Plus, the area is quiet for a romantic walk to the nearest park or restaurant. Jamie Nguyen, Tourism Assistant, with the Bureau 2 years

One of a kind. American Vintage in downtown Fullerton is one of my favorite places to shop. Everything is unique and different and the pricing is pretty amazing. I always leave her feeling like I have a one-of-a-kind gem! Shayna Marks, Communications, with the Bureau under a year

Fire in the hole. The fire-pits in Huntington Beach are a great place to watch the sunset, roast SMORES, and relax with friends and family after a tough day on the links or shopping. Tip: get there early to get one. Daniel Carr, Convention Housing Manager, with the Bureau 6 years

Rock out. My favorite place to see live music is The Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Kitchen.  It is located in the historic SoCo District of Downtown Fullerton, CA. It has everything … great food, great music, and great collection of music memorabilia. Deedre Rieck, Convention Services Manager- Registration Services, with the Bureau 8 years

Put the top down! Best California “feel” is driving on Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar & Laguna Beach. Whether you are headed southbound and looking at the sand and the beautiful hilltop homes, OR headed northbound and enjoying a marvelous sunset, it reminds me EVERY TIME why I love living in Orange County! Brenda Weber, Convention Services, with the Bureau 2 years

Get in the (fun) zone. Balboa Peninsula feels like its own little world to me.  Even though it is a part of the opulent Newport Beach, it has a rawness to it.  I love to go fishing in the waterways or even jumping on a sport fishing boat for a 1/2 day trip out to sea. Bobby Taylor, Web & Emerging Media, with the Bureau 2 years

Canyon Life. It’s a great Saturday when I hit Cook’s Corner, the world famous biker bar in Trabuco Canyon around noon.  The atmosphere is symbolic of days gone by – a country haven nestled right in the heart of the hillside. Grab a pitcher of beer and mingle with the locals, look at the coolest bikes around or just relax with your friends. Either way, it’s old California with a simple, rustic and small town country vibe. Tony Toth, Convention Sales Director, with the Bureau 18 years

Run like the wind! Running in the annual Disney Half Marathon is a great way to experience Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, the Honda Center and Anaheim Stadium – with over 14,000 runners from 30+ countries. Many are dressed in various Disney character costumes! Ann Gallaugher, VP Tourism Development, with the Bureau 27 years

Shop til you drop. I like to bargain shop at The Block of Orange. Kenneth Cole Outlet Store, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th is a fierce fashion combination where you can really save. Victoria Diaz, Convention Sales Coordinator, with the Bureau 1 year

Beach to beach. I love “Beach-hopping” with my daughter – driving along the coast with the top down, starting at Laguna Beach, then to Crystal Cove for Lunch at the Beachcomber, and then on to Huntington Beach for more fun and to watch the surfers! Lora Stanley, Convention Sales, with the Bureau 15 years

Shades of green. My husband and I LOVE the Fullerton Arboretum.  You can have a nice picnic under a shady tree by the pond.  It is great for walking and checking out the beautiful plants.  My husband is a fan of photography, so we always take our camera to capture really great shots of plant life. Michelle Amon, Receptionist, with the Bureau 5 years

You spin me round! One of my favorite things to do is to ride the Teacups at Disneyland. Certainly, there are  more high-tech attractions  today, but to me this one is like a classic fairy tale. It still makes me feel like a little girl when I’m riding in it, when just getting dizzy and laughing in those giant painted tea cups was all I needed to have fun! Elaine Cali, VP Communications, with the Bureau 26 years

Deals, deals, deals! On almost any Sunday you can find everything from churros, jerky, luggage, socks, sunglasses, pre-owned cars, furniture…all in one place- the OC Swapmeet. Deals can be made and found everywhere if you look for them.  People watching is also recommended there. Daniel Carr, Convention Housing Manager, with the Bureau 6 years


The Top 10 Spots to Live in Orange County – For YOUR Lifestyle

oc living

Anyone who lives in Orange County can tell you, it is one of the most desirable places to live in America. Perhaps even in the world! It has all the excitement, diversity and cultural amenities of a big city without the crowds and boasts some of America’s most beautiful beaches, as well as some of the best surfing this side of Hawaii.

Orange County residents enjoy world-class shopping and dining, professional sports, and two destination theme parks. Health services are also top-notch. Oh, and the weather! Orange County has 2 seasons: Warm and Sunny!

In short, when East Coasters fantasize about living the California Dream, what they’re probably imagining is Orange County.

So OC is great all around, now where to live… Depending on your lifestyle, here are the top spots for you!

1. For Young Families

If you’re raising children and are looking for a safe, stable neighborhood with lots of parks and good schools, several South County communities located along Interstate 5 fit the bill. Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and Lake Forest form a unique triumvirate of hilly, well-planned communities known for being especially kid-friendly. Here you’ll find lots of shopping, entertainment options, and recreational activities as well as safe streets and excellent schools.

2. For Young Professionals

If you’re single or a couple who is into business, high tech or biotechnology, then Irvine should be high on your list of possible places to live. One of America’s first master-planned communities as well as home to the University of California-Irvine, the city has, over the past two decades, become a national center for high-tech research, development and manufacturing. This is also a very family friendly community with top-notch schools and access to world-class medical care.

3. For Captains of Industry

If you’re a top-earner looking for a prestige address, they don’t come much higher than Newport Beach. With a median home price of $1.4 million, Newport Beach boasts some of the most lavish real estate this side of Beverly Hills. Top neighborhoods include Spyglass Hill, Harbor View (also known as “The Port Streets”), Lido Isle, Cameo Shores, Westcliff, and the more recent hilltop developments in adjacent Newport Coast.  If you need a place to park your 50-footer, Newport also boasts one of the largest marinas in the United States.

4. For Beach Bums

If you’re a surfer dude, or just like the taste of fresh salt air in the morning, Orange County offers a wide variety of beachfront communities to fit your outdoor lifestyle. Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Newport’s Balboa Peninsula offer a wide range of for-sale and rental housing that can keep you close to the waves as well as funky restaurants and, just a few minutes inland, thousands of major area employers. If your waterside tastes run a bit more upscale, consider Corona del Mar with its trendy “cottages” perched above towering cliffs.

5. For Newbies

Are you new to Southern California and want to get into the local lifestyle without experiencing a major culture — or financial — shock? Consider the near-beach communities of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Orange or Tustin. Although each has a unique personality, these communities offer a nice combination of affordable housing, great shopping and easy access to both the beach and the county’s pro sports and theme park attractions further inland.

6. For a Latin Flair

It’s no secret that Orange County, like the rest of California, has a vibrant rapidly growing Hispanic population. In fact, now a full third of once lily-white Orange County is now of Latin American origin. If it’s authentic Mexican culture and cuisine you’re seeking, you’ll find the highest concentration in the county seat of Santa Ana. Other heavily Latino communities can be found inCosta Mesa, Anaheim and Fullerton.

7. For a Taste of the Far East

During the Vietnam War, tens of thousands of South Vietnamese refugees emigrated to Orange County to establish a community that became known as “Little Saigon.” Although Asian-Americans of Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Thai origin now live in integrated communities throughout Orange County, you’ll still find particularly heavy Vietnamese and Korean influences the areas of Westminster and Garden Grove.

8. For a Taste of the Old West

If it’s wide open spaces you’re seeking, your choices in modern-day, densely developed Orange County are fairly limited. But there are still pockets of communities that hearken back to the county’s historical roots like parts of Orange, Tustin and Yorba Linda. And with money comes options, as the horse-friendly estates of far south county Coto de Caza so aptly illustrate.

9. For the Artistically Inclined

Laguna Beach is one of Orange County’s oldest and most eclectic communities. Tucked away on a small strip of beachfront land flanked by towering green hills, Laguna is a mecca for artists by profession or just in spirit. The city is home to a summer-long arts festival as well as the world-famous Pageant of the Masters, in which local residents use imaginative stagecraft to recreate stunning reproductions of famous masterpieces.

10. For Those Who Just Want to Get Away from it All

If it’s just peace and quiet you’re after, head south to the quiet beachfront communities of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Pointand San Clemente. Here you’ll find all the amenities people usually seek in Southern California without the hustle, bustle and congestion common just a few miles farther north. The beaches are uncrowded, the air clean and the neighbors friendly. You might even run into an ex-Presidential candidate or two.

Give us a call when you’re ready to find the perfect place for you!  (949) 388-8019

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Great Spots to Celebrate in Orange County

You may have celebrated on Tuesday with the rest of the crowd but if you weren’t able to get away during the week, here is a list of hot spots to go to this weekend to catch up on the celebrations.

Enjoy! And as always, celebrate responsibly!

Where to go

Avila’s El Ranchito, 2201 E. 1st St., Santa Ana (other locations in Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, Orange and San Clemente). The Santa Ana location will have an all-day happy hour, $4.75 margaritas, $2.25 tacos from 4-9 p.m., beer specials and a DJ from 4 – 10 p.m.

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen, 110 W. Birch St., Brea. $15 “Grande Margaritas,” shot with beer specials, half-price premium tequila shots, live music starting at 5:30 p.m.

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, 25001 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point. Cinco de Mayo celebration until Friday. Tequila specials and street tacos with specially-created toppings.

Matador Cantina, 111 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton. Live flamenco music, $1.25 tacos from 2 p.m. on, $5 Mexican beers, $6 and $8 margaritas.

Mi Casa, 296 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, and 22322 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita. $4 chicken and beef crispy tacos; $5 grilled mahi tacos; $3 beer specials; $7 Dobel margarita specials.

Moreno’s Mexican Restaurant, 4328 E. Chapman Ave., Orange. From 6-9 p.m., singing and dancing with mariachis, ethnic dancers and a Vera Cruz group, no cover charge.

Olamendi’s Mexican Restaurant, 34664 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, and Olamendi’s, 1100 S. Coast Hwy., # 202, Laguna Beach. Food and drink specials, including a $10 margarita made with the restaurant’s own brand of ultra-premium organic tequila.

Red O Restaurant, Fashion Island, 143 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach. Live music, $3 tacos, $5 Coronas and Cabotellas and $7 Casa Noble margaritas.

SOL Cocina, 251 Pacific Coast Hwy., Newport Beach. $10 Don Julio Tequila Blanco margaritas, a $20 bucket of five beers, special fruit-infusted tequila shots for $3, Gipsy Kings tribute band.

Solita, 7631 Edinger Ave., Suite 1508, Huntington Beach. $15 bucket of five beers, $15 premuim tequila shots, $3 special limited fruit-infused tequila shots, live music.

Taco Rosa, The Market Place, 13792 Jamboree Road, Irvine, and Newport Hills Shopping Center, 2632 San Miguel Dr., Newport Beach. Mariachi, beer and tequila specials and some food discounts (Irvine location) and Taco Tuesday specials all day (Newport Beach location)

Twenty Eight, 19530 Jamboree Road, Irvine. $2 “It’s Not a Taco” and $5 margaritas.

O.C. homes flying off the shelves; our market is the fifth-hottest in U.S.

Orange County has the fifth-fastest pace of home sales in the nation so far this year, with 59 percent of the homes listed on Trulia coming off the market in two months or less, the real estate website reported recently.OC is a hot real estate market

Trulia measured sales pace by comparing how many homes listed on its website on Feb. 5 were still for sale by April 5. The results show that turnover is accelerating.

In the same period of 2014, 55 percent of the homes were either sold or withdrawn from the market in two months.

Trulia housing economist Ralph McLaughlin said it’s likely that most of the missing listings were removed because of a sale.

“Homes that are pulled off the market because of a lack of demand are likely to sit on the market longer than 60 days,” McLaughlin said in an email. “So it is unlikely that homes pulled off the market instead of being sold are reflected in our measure.”

The markets in Orange County and California are significantly brisker than the U.S. average.Nationwide, 40 percent of listings disappeared within two months, up from 38 percent a year ago, Trulia reported.

Eight of the nation’s 10 fastest-moving markets are in California, according to the Trulia report.

San Francisco had the nation’s fastest sales pace, with 74 percent of the listings vanishing in two months. San Jose and Oakland ranked second with 70 percent of homes no longer for sale after two months. In San Diego, 67 percent of listings disappeared in that time frame.

Other California metro areas in the top 10 were Sacramento, at 58 percent, and Los Angeles and Ventura counties, each at 57 percent.

A limited supply of homes and high demand are the key reasons why listings are vanishing fastest in California.

“Expensive markets – including many in California – have tight housing supplies because of limited construction in the face of growing demand. So homes get snapped up quickly,” the report said.

Orange County’s turnover is even faster than Trulia indicated, according to Steve Thomas of ReportsOnHousing.com.

Thomas calculated that as of April 9, it would take 54 days to sell 100 percent of the homes listed in the Realtor-run “multiple listing” database during the previous 30 days. That’s down from 65 days in the same period of 2014.

“The Orange County housing market is currently hot and favors sellers,” Thomas said. “The hotter the price range and market, the sharper a buyer’s pencil needs to be.”

Thomas’ figures show that the $250,000-to-$500,000 price range is Orange County’s fastest-moving segment. He calculated that it would take 47 days to sell all the homes listed in that price range.

The $500,000-to-$750,000 price range is Orange County’s only other housing segment with homes averaging less than two months on the market. The average in that segment was 54 days.

Homes are selling faster this year for all listings between $250,000 and $2 million.

The nation’s most sluggish markets are concentrated on the East Coast, according to Trulia.

Albany, N.Y., had the slowest market, with 29 percent of homes leaving the market in two months. Long Island was second-slowest, with 31 percent of homes vanishing in two months, followed by Syracuse at 32 percent.

The uptick in home sales is bad news for first-time homebuyers, because the pace is fastest in the lowest-priced third of the market, Trulia reported.

“First-timers … are already getting slammed by declining affordability and slow wage growth,” the Trulia report said. “Now, even the homes they might be able to afford seem to be disappearing in the blink of an eye.”

Real estate news: Bixby acquires HQ space in Irvine


Irvine-based Bixby Land Company acquired a 262,463-square-foot corporate headquarters building at 9950 Jeronimo Road in Irvine. The building was purchased for $44.25 million from Irvine-based Kawasaki Motors, which was represented in the transaction by Gregg Haly ofCBRE. Bixby plans to spend $20 million to redesign the space. The firm also purchased a property at 15771 Redhill Ave. in Tustin – a 90,000-square-foot building that is in development for one or two users.

Quick Bridge Funding, a company that provides loans for small businesses, moved its headquarters to Irvine from Orange. The company has relocated to a 17,000-square-foot space at Market Place Center. The firm was founded in 2011 and has 94 employees.

Anaheim Marriott has completed a $15 million renovation. Changes in rooms include new work desks, artwork, lighting and easy access to power outlets. In addition, the hotel lobby, elevators and guestroom corridors have all been upgraded. The hotel is located next to the Anaheim Convention Center at 700 W. Convention Way.

Newport Beach real estate investment company MIG Real Estate completed the acquisition of Regency at Stonebridge Ranch, a 301-unit luxury townhome apartment community in McKinney, Texas. Regency at Stonebridge Ranch is MIG’s ninth investment in Texas multifamily properties.

Good Works

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County held its seventh annual “Leaders Build Day” on April 2 in Cypress. Some 70 business leaders donated time and financial support. Local firms’ chief executive as well as financial officers, presidents and vice presidents worked at Habitat OC’s 15th home site. They helped build five of the 15 new affordable home in Cypress, which will be sold to limited income families in Orange County.


$29.5 Million Home was Owned by Heart Monitor Developer

This beautiful oceanfront Irvine Cove home was built in 1976 and struts a private walkway directly to the beach! With the hefty price tag of $29.5 Million this 5,500-square-foot house is very well-maintained and livable and sits on more than a third of an acre!

Find dream homes like this with Coastal Estates Property Management today.

An oceanfront Irvine Cove home for sale at $29.5 million was owned by the co-developer of the Holter Monitor, a widely used portable device for monitoring heart activity.

Built in 1976, the 5,500-square-foot house is one of just five homes directly above the sand in the guard-gated Laguna Beach community. The home, with 123 feet of ocean frontage, boasts a private path to the beach.

The Spanish Hacienda-style residence, at 2471 Riviera Drive, includes five bedrooms, a great room with vaulted beam ceilings, fireplace and a bar, a formal dining area, family room and a remodeled kitchen.

The home has been kept up through the years, but it is dated, said Natalie Raney of Villa Real Estate.

“The future buyer will likely either tear down and rebuild or do an extensive remodel,” said Raney, who is co-listing the house with Steve High of Villa.

“A nice feature, though, is that it is very well-maintained and livable in the event the future owner wanted to live there prior to any construction beginning,” she added.

The property sits on more than a third of an acre, with mature palm trees and gardens.

The home is being sold by the family of Bruce Del Mar, who died last year at the age of 100.

Del Mar, along with Norman “Jeff” Holter, developed the Holter Monitor in the mid-1960s. Del Mar’s company was the first to commercially produce the device.

Before that, Del Mar was an aeronautical engineer who developed a common method for pressurizing commercial aircraft cabins.

Some of Del Mar’s work has been on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

Contact the writer:mkalfus@ocregister.com or 714-796-4903

Source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/mar-653394-home-holter.html